UK

Trans man refused haircut by bigoted barber left feeling ‘disgusted and ashamed’

Lily Wakefield January 12, 2022
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Close up of mirror in a barber shop

James, a trans man, was turned away by a Bolton barber. (Envato)

A trans man has described feeling “disgusted” and “ashamed” after being turned away from a barber shop.

James, identified only by his first name, told the Manchester Evening News that on Saturday afternoon (8 January), he was forced to leave Horwich Barber in Bolton, Greater Manchester, after being misgendered and turned away.

The 20-year-old trans man said he did not expect there to be any problem as he had visited the same barber three times before, and was “shocked” to be told they “didn’t cut women’s hair“.

James, a chef, said: “It was shocking as I have been before. Since transitioning, things haven’t been the easiest to talk about or anything like that.

“I felt disgusted being treated like I didn’t even matter. I felt so bad and ashamed of my body.”

He described to being referred to as a “woman” as “very hurtful and disrespectful”, and added: “It would be good to put a highlight on this issue due to there being so many people who are scared to go outside without being judged on what they look like or sound like and scared of being misgendered.”

In a statement to Manchester Evening News, the owner of Horwich Barber insisted staff were only “qualified for men’s haircuts”.

For trans folk, an affirming trip to the barber or hairdresser can spark pure trans joy

While James’ experience is sadly not uncommon, when done well, a trip to the barber or hairdresser can spark pure joy for trans and non-binary folk.

As part of PinkNews’ Trans Joy series, non-binary radio presenter Shivani Dave previously described how a trip to the barber can leave them feeling “great about everything”.

Dave said: “I found absolute trans joy when I cut all my hair off for the first time…

“It was the best feeling ever, literally a weight off my shoulders, and I just have been getting my hair cut shorter and shorter every time I’ve been to the barber now and absolutely love it because it feels so me. It feels like that’s who I am.”

 

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